6 Ways High School Teachers Can Help Nervous Students Applying to College Reply

So, your student is about ready to graduate from high school and is ready to move on to college. Despite being excited, they also don’t know what to expect and that makes them nervous. Rather than allow their minds to trick them into thinking things are going to be worse than they really are, why not teach them a few survival skills along the way? The following tips can help ease anxiety by getting your students into the flow of being a college freshman.

1. Get Real About Their Finances

ThoughtCatalog.com recommends taking advantage of all the free money available by applying for every scholarship you qualify for. It’s a great way for students to stretch their college budget and prevent them from being overwhelmed by working and going to school full-time. Though many students will need to take federal loans, tell them to try to minimize their loan amounts as much as possible. Student loan payments after graduation can become a huge burden for decades, so their best financial decision is to take only what they need.

2. Have Them Explore the City Where They’ll Be Living and Going to School

Advise them to find out what resources are available to them at their home away from home. Students should decide what types of groups and organizations they want to be a part of while attending school. If they’re religious, tell them to find a house of worship and get a copy of the schedule. Students can explore the different types of community events and programs that they can take part in.

They can also get a sense of what type of transportation they will need. If they are going to a metropolitan area with plenty of public transportation, for instance, they may be wise to skip the car for now. But if they will be living in a sprawling suburb, a car may prove indispensable. Make sure they understand their locale before they get there to avoid last-minute scrambles and stress.

3. Help Them Get a Soft Idea of What They Want to Study

Direct students to order information from all of the colleges they intend to apply to. They should read degree requirements and accreditations. This allows them to see exactly what they need to take as a freshman to get, for example, an online master’s in athletic administration, without incurring additional costs.

Let them know they shouldn’t feel pressured to decide right away, however. If they take all their generals first, they will have a couple years to feel out what program will fit best for them. You can also urge them to take personality tests to help them compare their strengths and weaknesses with the requirements of specific degree programs.

4. Eat Right and Get Plenty of Exercise

It’s easy for students to pack on the pounds when they’re not eating mindfully. Between studying, extracurricular activities, and attending class, it’s easy to lose healthy habits in the shuffle. Recommend that they beat the battle of the bulge by selecting foods that are low-calorie and nutrient-dense. Suggest that they should get a good work out in at their college gym several times a week to prevent the dreaded ‘Freshman Fifteen’ from making its way onto their body.

Diet and exercise not only will help students stay in shape, but will also help them reduce stress and increase concentration. Even if they spend 50 hours a week between work and school, exercising once a week could prove a tremendous help for their psyches and emotional stability. Most campuses will have gyms, pools, and other equipment that students can access without any extra charge.

5. Use Productivity Tools

Success in college quickly becomes a test in organization and scheduling. Your students would be remiss to try to wing it and remember every single assignment for every class. Instruct your outgoing students to write down every single assignment in a planner or scheduling app so they can see at a glance exactly what must be done in a given day.

These days, students have access to a variety of productivity and time-management apps for smartphones and computers. You can introduce them to a few of their options. MyLifeOrganized, for example, is great for to-do lists, projects, and even for tracking life goals. The app allows you to automatically sync information across devices, and add customizable filters and priority labels.

RescueTime tracks how much time you spend using which applications, and gives you a convenient breakdown of your usage. This app can help you stay honest with yourself by showing you exactly how you are spending your time. You can even set alarms to sound when it’s time to move to the next task. New productivity apps come out all the time, so students have plenty of choices.

6. Find Social Groups

One of the most memorable parts of the college experience is the friendships that students make. Advise your outgoing students to join clubs or study groups to help build those connections. Though they are at college to work and learn, the process can be a lot more enjoyable if they are able to find others to stimulate and encourage each other, especially if the student is an extrovert.

You almost can’t overstate the impact of social relations on most students. You will have certain students who would prefer minimal social contact, but for most others, their social experience can have a huge influence on their mental and emotional states. If the student has traveled to a new state where they don’t know anyone, they may feel very isolated. This isolation has the potential to creep into their studies and impact their grades. Make sure they have plenty of ideas of how to meet new people in their school.

If students know what it takes to not only survive their freshman year but also thrive, they’ll have an easier time enjoying the college experience. Insist that they take advantage of the resources available to them and relax. After all, one day they’ll look back at the experience fondly and wished it hadn’t gone by so quickly.


About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. Anica is a writer for Ohio University, which offers a range of degrees including an online master’s in athletic administration.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

First Year at University? 3 Things You Should Know Reply

You’ve picked your roommate and you know what dorm you’re staying in. You’ve even done the campus tour and mapped out the closest dining hall. You think you’re ready, but the real work is just beginning. Your first year of college can definitely be a huge life change, but it is a great life change. It definitely takes a lot of preparation though. It will definitely be unlike anything you have ever experienced. Here’s what you should know to thrive during your first year at college.

  1. Map it Out

In any college setting, it’s common for professors to assign a research paper to be turned in towards the end of the semester. Papers like this can take a lot of research and a lot of time. That’s why you are going to want to make sure to get started on it as soon as you can. By doing that you can avoid a lot of heartache and stress further on down the road. Sadly, chances are the paper will be mentioned once on the first day of class and then will hardly be mentioned again. That is until the day it’s due. Without proper organization and a plan to meet all of the deadlines you will face, you may find yourself up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Get a planner, use sticky notes or write it on the front of your notebook. Do whatever works best for you to stay organized and ensure you get all those papers with longer deadlines completed on time.

  1. Find Your Study Spot

By this stage in your scholastic career, you should be well acquainted with the most effective study strategies for your learning style. Now it’s time to take what you know about your learning techniques and apply that in a whole new environment. Scope out all the best study spots on campus. Find the space that will benefit you and then create a study schedule. Make consistent study dates with yourself and keep them. Resist the temptation to ditch the books in favor of pizza and dedicate yourself to your study spot. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. Become An Expert

Counselors are there to help and guide, but they also have a lot of students and expect you to take charge of your education. Understanding the requirements and deadlines for your program can keep you on the right track and make sure you are prepared for graduation. These requirements are also imperative if you want to pursue a graduate degree. Some programs like the criminal justice master’s program actually place their requirements directly on their webpage making it easy to track your progress and make sure you have what you need to gain acceptance into the next phase of your education.

College is a wonderful experience, full of excitement and challenges. These tips will help you embrace all that college is and allow you to conquer your first year. As you keep yourself organized and disciplined you’ll find handling your schedule more bearable. While most of the weight of your success rests on your shoulders, never be afraid to ask for help from teachers, counselors, and upper classmen.


Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys tennis and spending time with her family. Kara recommends looking into diplomacy programs for more information on degrees that can help save the world.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Living in your first apartment: Life off campus versus life on campus Reply

Late Night StudyYou’re all settled into your first apartment. The mattress topper miraculously fit through the door, all your clothes made it into a new closet and you’re plastering your walls with photos of friends and mementos of campus events from last year. After all the hours you’ve spent moving into your first off campus location, your stomach grumbles and you think, “Oh, time to go to the dining ha—oh, right.”

What changed?

In short, off-campus life carries with it a set of responsibilities that may have been irrelevant to think about when you lived on campus. Universities typically support students housed on campus in every possible way by supplying them with essentials, mainly so that students only need to worry about their studies. The moment you switch to an off-campus apartment situation, you’re more independent from your university and a few aspects of life become a bit more prominent.

  1. Having to care about bus times

Back when you were an on-campus student, you may have had the luxury of being oblivious in terms of when city buses come up to your campus bus stops. Since all the city buses ultimately lead downtown in most college towns, you may have just hopped on whatever bus number showed up outside your residence hall. Now that you’re an off-campus student, you have to care about bus numbers and bus arrival times.

Most students don’t have their own cars, or if they do, their university might not have the most parking spaces in the world. Maybe those several hundred-dollar parking permits aren’t looking so good to your wallet. If you do rely on buses to navigate through town, living off campus will mean you have to plot out the best routes to use to get from your place to class in time.

  1. Grocery shopping and cooking for yourself

Most universities still allow off-campus students to purchase a 5-day or 7-day meal plan, but you’ll find it much less convenient to use any on-campus dining halls anyway if you live in an off-campus apartment. This means you’ll have to budget your money and time so that you’ll have plenty of good food each day, and you may start packing a lunch and some snacks to take up to campus each day.

If you’re not ready to cook for yourself completely just yet, you might consider inquiring with campus dining services about a modified meal plan that gives you a set number of meals per term. If, however, off-campus living signifies a need to provide all of your own food, make a plan for when you’ll hit the grocery store each week and how you’ll transport groceries home.

  1. Making more intentional efforts to stay updated on campus activities

If you’re a very involved student on campus who works many jobs and is in many organizations, you may realize from moving off campus that it’s now a lot harder to make weekend meetings or evening study sessions at the library when you no longer live within five minutes walking distance of all campus facilities. This may mean factoring more travel time into your schedule to arrive at your commitments on time.

Additionally, living off campus may make it harder for you to access community events and functions on campus. The reality is proximity to every event is a luxury on-campus students have, but off-campus students can still attend campus functions as long as they remember to stay updated on what’s going on.

Off-campus students may not see all the flyers at campus bus stops for the ‘90s dance party happening in the main lawn, or they might not hear about the annual activism conference happening next Saturday. This means off-campus students should follow social media pages run by their university and check campus event calendars regularly to avoid missing anything exciting. Sometimes off-campus students might coordinate carpools or offer rides to other off-campus students to make commuting easier.

  1. Reduced access to all of your friends at once

The beauty of living on campus lies in the access you have to all your friends living in the same building or even on the same floor as you. You never run out of people to visit when you live on campus because most students in your grade level are housed together, creating a close-knit feeling of support and community.

The switch to off-campus living means you’ll have to explicitly plan when to hang out with certain friends, because chances are some of your friends have also moved off campus. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because living off campus often grants you more space to spend time with others, but you’ll find you have to put more of an effort into setting up hangout dates with people who used to be your next-door neighbors on campus.

While it does carry with it its own challenges, off-campus living can provide students with a healthy amount of independence they might not have had when living in the on-campus residence halls.


By Julia Dunn, Uloop News. Visit uloop.com for more college news and to search for off-campus housing, tutors near campus, jobs for college students, and more.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Top 11 Reasons Why College Students Dropout: Don’t Let it Happen to You Reply

Students drop out for a number of reasons. A lot of time it has to do with money, time, or an unexpected emergency where they become unable to keep attending college or not go in the first place. Here are the top reasons why students drop out of college and what you can do to avoid the pitfalls.

  1. School costs too much

One of the biggests reasons that students drop out of college is because of the lack of funds to keep going. Many students take out school loans, but that isn’t always enough. Between the costs of classes, books, rent, and just trying to survive, students are more and more learning that while worth it in the long run, the cost of education is high. Check with your school’s financial aid office and search online for scholarships and help paying for tuition.

  1. Needed to get a full time job

This goes along with the cost of education. A lot of students find that they need to get a full time job in order to pay their bills, which cuts into being able to attend classes. However, a lot of people find that if they can take even one class a semester it will help them to lighten the load and complete their degree. Graduating from college is a long term commitment, and there is nothing wrong with taking longer if that is what you need to do.

  1. Family issues

Family can be very helpful while going to college, but for a lot of students family can be a huge stressor and burden on their life. Especially if a family emergency happens, you might have to take time off from school. Keep in mind that professors are generally understanding of student’s situations, so often if you let them know of your situation, you can work out a plan to finish your coursework on your own time. Your teachers want to see you succeed.

  1. Too much stress

Going to college is stressful, there is no doubt about it. If you are just graduating high school, then the amount of coursework mixed with the personal life and new sense of independence will get to you. But, the important part is that you learn how to cope and find ways to study. It is OK to have fun, but passing your classes is essential to your success.

  1. Not sure of major

Many students go into college with their major undeclared, which is completely fine. However, as you get farther along in college, you are going to have to eventually declare a major. Don’t let this stress you out so much that you end up dropping out of college over it. Keep taking classes, meet with your professors and advisors, and find something that you are passionate about.

  1. No need to complete a full degree

A lot of students go to college just to obtain the knowledge they need to succeed, and sometimes you don’t need a full degree to succeed in life. Students who need a little bit of education in order to obtain a leg up in their career can find a lot of resources at college.

  1. Unprepared for the work load

Attributing to their overall stress, students who graduate high school and go straight into college find that the workload is more than they expected. Prepare to spend more time on your classes than you did before, but don’t forget to take some time to relax and recharge your brain too.

  1. Personal emergency

Personal emergencies are stressful enough when you are out of college. If something happens where you aren’t able to go to class and finish your homework, speak with your professors so that you can make other plans to finish your coursework, take tests, and make up the time missed in the classroom. As stated above, teachers want to see you succeed.

  1. The college atmosphere wasn’t the right fit

Some people just don’t mesh well with the traditional college atmosphere. And that is OK. If you consider yourself one of these types of people, consider the other alternatives to traditional education. You might find that an online program is a better with for your lifestyle. Or, consider taking classes part time so that you can work while you go to college.

  1. Too much fun outside of class

Don’t let personal freedom take control of your entire life. It is fine to have fun, meet new people, and enjoy your life in college, just be sure to take time to actually study so that you can pass your classes.

  1. Lack of advising

Lack of advising is often a problem in many colleges. A lot of the problem too is students don’t take the time to meet with advisors when they need it the most — don’t let this be you. Meet with your advisors and plan out your goals for college. And if they don’t help you, go to your college professors, mentors, parents, friends, and anybody else that will help you reduce the stress of how to obtain your personal and professional goals.

Keep in mind that just because you drop out of college, it doesn’t mean you can’t go back later to finish. More and more students are taking classes part time or dropping out for a semester and going back later. Graduating college is a very important aspect to being successful, and it is never too late to finish your degree. Time goes by fast, so know that you can finish one class a semester if you have to to lighten the load. Keep in mind these top reasons why most college students drop out to help safeguard yourself from not being able to complete your degree.